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Update of the Strategic Vision 2030: Recommendations

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The evolving security environment will demand more involvement and commitment from Belgian Defence, for which it is not yet sufficiently prepared. There is a need to develop a more proactive and anticipatory strategic culture as a result of increasing uncertainties and geopolitical changes.

Belgian Defence needs to be able to fulfil its five missions – national readiness and resilience, collective defence, projecting forces abroad contributing to collective security, defence diplomacy and aid to Belgian society – which are interconnected with Belgium’s vital and strategic interests.

Belgium cannot further reduce its range of capabilities. Belgian Defence needs to be able to play its role in all domains – land, air, sea, space, cyber and information. Despite major acquisitions during the preceding legislature, there are still shortfalls in our capabilities. Furthermore, capabilities need to be rebalanced between collective security and collective territorial defence.

To meet the requirements for missions and capabilities, there is an urgent need of recapitalisation in personnel. The decrease in personnel needs to be reversed and shifted towards increasing recruitment and profile diversity.

The current government will increase the defence expenditure to 1.24% of pre-COVID-19 GDP and future governments should align with the average of NATO non-nuclear European members, an average that has already surpassed 1.7%.

There is a need to strike the right balance between missions, capacities, personnel and budget.

A vibrant security and defence industry will enable Belgium to participate in multilateral research projects and capability initiatives that further the needs of Defence
Belgium has to demonstrate to its partners that it will take its share of the burden and accept collective risks. Belgium acting as a free-rider would not be acceptable to its NATO and EU partners and allies.